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Mike Napoli “plays with a vengeance” against the Angels

Oct 1, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Mike Napoli Getty Getty Images

Mike Napoli‘s six seasons with the Angels were filled with good production and fans clamoring for manager Mike Scioscia to play him more at catcher instead of light-hitting defensive specialist Jeff Mathis.

Napoli was traded away in January of 2011 and his two seasons since leaving the Angels have been filled with crushing his former team.

Yesterday that included Napoli going 3-for-3 with two homers off former batterymate Ervin Santana and six RBIs as the Rangers all but extinguished the Angels’ playoff chances.

He’s now played 33 total games against the Angels during the past two seasons, hitting .396 with 12 homers, 10 doubles, and an .829 slugging percentage while getting on base exactly 50 percent of the time.

Or, put another way:

Napoli for the Angels: .831 OPS
Napoli since leaving the Angels: .936 OPS
Napoli against the Angels: 1.329 OPS

When asked about Napoli’s performance, Torii Hunter said it best: “He plays with a vengeance. I hate that he’s doing it, but that’s how you really make a statement.”

  1. vallewho - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    MOTIVATION

  2. cur68 - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    My guess on Ron Washington’s pre-game pep talk to Mike Napoli before every game in the playoffs: “Mike? Mike play ‘em like its Scioscia’s team out there, ok? Just pretend that its the Angels every time you take the field. Your pretty much crushed them all by yourself this season. So, Mike? Mike…SMASH….”

    • Mike Luna - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Like a Water Boy situation. Just visualize every pitcher with Mike Scioscia’s face. It’ll either lead to the greatest postseason performance in baseball history, or all the Scioscia faces will eventually drive him to madness.

      Worth the risk.

  3. legacybroken - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    The best part of it is the Angels are in this situation because they wanted the honor of paying Vernon Wells and his Albatross.

  4. kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Spent the past 10minutes trying to find a cool stat which indicates Vernon Wells is awesome at something. Couldn’t find it.

    • kevinbnyc - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Wasting the Angels money?

    • cur68 - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Awesome at Being Evil. He gots that NAILED.

  5. pw38 - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Now if the Rangers can get him paid and under contract for another 4-5 years…

  6. foreverchipper10 - Oct 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Yippe ki yay MF’er.

  7. samgod13 - Oct 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I was curious and figured that his OPS versus teams other than the Angels is .871. I was also curious if I could figure that out but I think it’s right.

    It would have been cooler if it was more what is Angels OPS was but oh well.

  8. hardballtalkusername - Oct 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Yes but Mathis had the better squat which is all that matters to Scioscia

  9. sirrealrainman - Oct 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    …”defensive specialist” Jeff Mathis
    Bwahahahahaha
    Aaron Gleeman has obviously never seen Mathis behind the plate.
    There was a game where a runner took off to steal second base and Mathis threw the ball to the first baseman. No one was more shocked than the first baseman. Mathis literally looked like he was going to cry afterwards.

    Screw Scioscia & former GM Tony Reagins for the Napoli / Wells trade. Getting Wells was the worst trade of the 21st century – but can you image the request to give Napoli for the “privilege” of acquiring Wells? Can you image agreeing to this demand? Mind boggling.

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Mathis was a horrid defender, but that’s the reason Scioscia preferred him. He thought he was a “defensive specialist” at least.

      The throw to first was pretty bad, but I preferred the time he tripped over himself when he was involved in a rundown and let the runner score. That was the ultimate in ineptitude.

      • sirrealrainman - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        Another classic from the “defensive specialist”!

        Our beloved Jeff Mathis – arguably the worst baseball player of all time (based on how many plate appearances he had in a major league uniform).

      • cosanostra71 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

        Thinking about Mathis still upsets me lol

  10. tonyz6060chevy - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    This is the deal that’s going to weigh Scioscia down like a pair of heavy cement shoes, it doesn’t matter that Reagins pulled the trigger on the deal, It was Scioscia’s jockeying that ultimately led to the Napoli/Wells trade .Napoli voiced his disappointment about the lack of playing time Scioscia was giving him, through the L.A. times.That pissed Scioscia off ,and pretty much benched him the rest of the ’10 season,so when the Wells swap became available, I’m quite sure Sciosia jumped all over Reagins to get it done.Napoli got the last laugh on this one.Lord only knows where Scioscia will end up after the 2012 season,I’m pretty sure Arte’s ready to put a new attitude in the club house!

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